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The Coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13)

February 26, 2014

Reflecting on the Passage:
Here at East Point Church, we have begun a new sermon series entitled “Acts: The Spirit and the Church in the World“. This week’s sermon described the events of Pentecost as a unique display of God the Holy Spirit fulfilling the promises of Christ. Elder Duncanson emphasized the importance of understanding this event as with other glorious events of Christ (cf. crucifixion, resurrection, ascension). The focus of this sermon is on the power of God, the presence of God, and a miracle.

The Power of God

Acts Series

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting (Acts 2:1-2; ESV).”

Pentecost marks the fiftieth day after Passover in Jewish culture, however, this Pentecost was like none other, because the power of God was in the midst. The Holy Spirit is compared to wind frequently throughout Scripture, probably considering wind is powerful, unseen, and is known only by the effect it has on an object (cf. Gen. 8:1; John 3:8; Zec. 4:8). The power of God had come not only to fill this house, but also to fill the followers of Jesus Christ, in order for them be witnesses for Christ.

The Presence of God

And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them (Acts 2:3; ESV).”

This Pentecost was not simply unique because the power of God was displayed, but also because God the Holy Spirit had come to rest with each believer personally rather than just corporately. Here we see in this account that like Moses and the burning bush, God chose to reveal Himself as both powerful and loving considering He could have devoured them in His presence due to our inherent sinfulness. Instead, God the Holy Spirit faithfully carries out His ministry of comfort by identifying each one of them as witnesses of Jesus Christ.

A Miracle

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? (Acts 2:4-8; ESV).”

Along with the power and presence of God, we also see a miracle. Miracles are not as common as many of us think they are. If miracles were common, everyday occurrences, they wouldn’t be miracles. The events of Pentecost clearly describe a true miracle. First, God the Holy Spirit intervened as Christ promised His disciples He would, hence “suddenly there came from heaven”. Secondly, God the Holy Spirit transcends the natural law of language, by making various languages or “tongues” become as one. This was in reverse to what God did at the Tower of Babe. (Gen. 11:1-9). At Babel, man was trying to reach up to God. At Pentecost, God came down to man. Lastly, what was the special purpose of God the Holy Spirit filling all that were present? God’s redemptive plan included all the nations through the work of Jesus Christ, thus, He provided the power to unite them (Gen. 12:1-3).

Who is sufficient for these things?

We need to understand that the Baptism of the Spirit comes along with conversion not after. There are those who make much of Pentecost as another gifting of the Spirit, but you cannot trust Christ without the baptism of the Holy Spirit! Similarly, you don’t believe because you see miracles, you believe because you see Jesus Christ.

Christians are inadequate to do what they are called to do in their own strength, yet, they can trust in Gospel of their salvation, which is the power unto God. The filling of the Holy Spirit is to empower the Christian to proclaim Christ with godly living and service to others. We are to be witnesses of Christ, and He will use us as He sees fit.

As the Christian witnesses, he or she will receive a response from their hearers, those who want to know more and those who want to mock (v. 11-12). God does not perform miracles merely to amaze or to amusze people. Jesus said to him, “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead” (cf. Luke 16:31). Repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

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